The residents of Smashville know that this team could afford any player out there on the trade market right now (with acres of cap space)... and whether you like or dislike the thought of flipping Blum or Wilson, it's going to take a top player to turn this into a 'run and gun' team. Scoring by committee is nice (most teams struggle to keep up with our 3rd and 4th lines through 3 periods) - so let's be real. The playoffs bring more ice team for the primary lines... and when your best forechecking weapon other than the boys on the 1st line happens to have a great hockey last name (Bourque) but no real experience, you need to pull the trigger on a big-time deal.
So it it not kind of infuriating to see that the name that keeps frequently popping up on the rumor mill (again on Monday morning) is none other than Oiler Ales Hemsky? A career -26 that averages 2 shots a game... that hasn't played a full season in five years? The stats here look deceiving... on the face, he's almost a point per game player. But will he even stay healthy enough to bring that production to a team that needs firepower? And since he does not appear to be clicking with the youth in Edmonton, will he really gel with all of our young guns?
If this is the best play for a front office that has played so many correct cards this year, maybe we should hold 'em... Or maybe the talk needs to turn from a quality scorer to another lock down defender for the 2nd pairing. Cause this is becoming painful to see every night on the ice and in the box score (especially after such solid play during our run through December/January!)
And with that said, are we looking at this the entirely wrong way? If you can put up 7 goals against the two defending Conference Champions last week, against two of the top goaltenders - one of which we'll see again next week - perhaps keeping teams OFF the scoreboard may be the missing element. Others have suggested it recently (like the Hill/Kubina) discussion. But the more you watch this team struggle on the back end, does it not become more apparent that the opposite blue line (and a D-Man that brings a good transition game) is a bigger need??